Painful Sex? You Don’t Need To Suffer In Silence

If you suffer from discomfort during intercourse, you are not alone. Here’s what you need to know about pain during sex and how to manage it.

By Hima
08 May 2022

Pain during sex is associated with a variety of factors ranging from something as simple as a yeast infection to endometriosis to vaginismus (involuntary contraction of vaginal muscles). “The first step towards a solution is to understand and differentiate the pain. That is if pain occurs during the beginning of penetration (entry) or during deep thrusting. Depending on this, you can pinpoint the factors causing pain during sex,” says Dr. Anuradha Panda, Gynecologist, Obstetrician, Laparoscopic robotic surgeon, Apollo Health City, Jubilee hills, Hyderabad.


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Here is a list of common reasons that will help you understand why you experience pain during sex.

1. Lubrication: Lower estrogen levels following menopause and childbirth or not enough foreplay results in decreased lubrication causing pain during sex. Also, antidepressant medication, high blood pressure medication, birth control pills, and sedatives might decrease lubrication.


2. Injury: An injury in the pelvic area or a pelvic surgery can cause enough trauma to trigger pain during sex. Also, episiotomy surgery (a cut made during childbirth to widen the birth canal) causes pain during intercourse.


3. Infection: A yeast infection can induce pain during sex. Also, skin disorders including Eczema in the genital area cause pain during sex.


4. Vaginismus: Muscle spasms in the vaginal wall that are involuntary can induce pain during penetration


Of course, all kinds of pain during sex must be checked by your gyanecologist, however, a few conditions or illnesses must be given immediate attention. Few of these conditions can result in deep pain that is known as dyspareunia. The conditions that cause dyspareunia include endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine prolapse, retroverted uterus, pudendal neuralgia, adenomyosis, and ovarian cysts.

To elaborate, endometriosis is a condition during which the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. Uterine prolapse is a condition that occurs when the pelvic floor muscle doesn’t have enough strength to support the uterus. As a result, the uterus slides down and protrudes out of vagina. Pudendal neuralgia is associated with pain in the pudendal nerve, a main nerve in the pelvis. Adenomyosis occurs when the wall of the uterus overgrows into the muscular wall of the uterus. Such abnormalities result in painful intercourse. At other times, pelvic surgery may also cause deep painful intercourse. In such cases, the earlier the medical care, the easier it is to find a solution.


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A case to talk openly about sex and problems associated with it

To make a case, lets say when the act of intercourse gets painful, instead of seeking help we choose to refrain from sex. What is the outcome? asks Dr Anuradha Panda.

It is common to abstain from sex, however, pain must not be the reason for it. If we restrain from sex for a few weeks following painful intercourse, it will not solve our problem. Infact, in some cases such as endometriosis it will further complicate the cause due to negligence. Also, the fear of restarting the sex life associated with fear of pain will further create a rift, explains Dr Panda. Thus, seeking medical care is an absolute necessity. Once we are able to describe the pain and experience, it will just take a matter of weeks to sort out with proper treatment. So, emphatic medical care will put our life on the right track.





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